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5 Ultimate Tips for Perfectly Grilled Salmon

5 Ultimate Tips for Perfectly Grilled Salmon

It works every time.

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Jing Yue Lok

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

Grilled fish is a great, lighter alternative to meat. Among many options, salmon definitely takes the crown for being an all-time favorite. Pan-fried or oven-roasted, it's almost always irresistible, but salmon from the grill takes the taste experience to the next level thanks to the smoky notes that compliment the creamy texture of its flesh.

Got your grill on? Here are some things to look out for:

To help you grill your salmon with confidence every time, we've put together these 5 tips for you:

1. Marinate the salmon beforehand for maximum flavor! Just a little salt works wonders, or a simple dry rub that doesn't need to soak in for more than 30 minutes. If you're unsure about how to marinate your salmon, take a look at our article that covers all you need to know about grill marinades.

2. Always oil lightly to keep the salmon intact. This prevents the fish from sticking to the grill grate. Alternatively, you can brush the grill grate with oil and a slice of lemon for added flavor. If you want to play it safe, grill the salmon with the skin on: It helps retain flavor and texture. Make sure to grill the skin side first, so that it gets crispy and the fish doesn't fall apart.

3. Turn the fish over only once! As soon as the salmon is only raw in the upper third and can be easily removed from the grill, you should carefully turn it over. Turning it several times not only risks overcooking the flesh but also pulling it apart.

4. Keep to this rule of thumb when it comes to cooking time: With a fillet thickness of 2.5 cm, you need approximately 4 minutes cooking time per side on the grill. Depending on how well done you like your salmon, add about 20-30 seconds to the cooking time of the second side.

5. When in doubt, trust your eyes! When your salmon fillet is pale pink on the surface and the flesh can be easily split with a fork, the fillet is perfectly cooked by official standards. Unless, of course, you prefer your salmon cooked through: In that case, the surface of the flesh should be evenly coated in light pink.

Here's an extra tip for the fans of meat thermometer: For a tender and lightly browned salmon fillet with a juicy, slightly shiny texture inside, the temperature should stay at 50-54 °C, while for a fully cooked salmon fillet, 60 °C is perfect. These temperatures should not be exceeded if possible.

Read to try our tips? We have just the right recipe for you:

Perfectly grilled salmon fillet

Perfectly grilled salmon fillet

Got your own tips for the perfect grilled salmon? Tell us below in the comments!

Published on September 1, 2023

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